Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 117 / FEBRUARY 1990 / PAGE 10


Wow! I Could've Had a V20!

I've been hearing a lot of rumors about the V20 chip from NEC, and I'm hoping you can clear the air a little. It's supposed to be a pin-for-pin replacement for the 8088 processor. Do you know of any 8088 computers for which this doesn't work, say a Sanyo MBC-550?

I've heard that the V20 runs faster than the 8088 and can run old 8080 software and, with an emulator, CP/M programs.

Can you tell me the facts about this chip?



The NEC V20 microprocessor is a pin-compatible replacement for the 8088 microprocessor. Depending on which application you're running, you should see a 3–30 percent speedup with the V20. NEC's technical hotline said the V20 should work in any 8088-based system, including your Sanyo MBC-550. The only system we know of that won't work with the V20 is the Amiga 2088 BridgeCard. See "Upgrade Fever" on page 36 for more information on the V20 and other PC speedups.

You can run some CP/M programs on a V20 system with a software emulator. However, it has been a couple of years since we've seen such an emulator advertised.